Diagnostic services at Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown will be enhanced with a state-of-the-art CT scanner, now installed and operational, which will benefit the Wakatipu basin and surrounding areas. The Siemens 128-slice SOMATOM go.Tope scanner, which has come with the upgrade to the hospital, is the second of its type to be installed in New Zealand and the first in a public hospital.
“This is an important milestone in improved health services for the population of Central Otago and the Lakes District,” Southern DHB Lakes District Hospital operations manager Janeen Holmes said.
Prior to the installation of the CT scanner, Lakes District Hospital only had plain film imaging. Patients who required advanced imaging had to travel for hours to either Dunstan, Dunedin or Southland Hospital.
“The new scanner means that many people will not need to travel for a CT scan,” the hospital’s medical radiation technologist, Elisabeth Key, said. She added that the radiology team would be trained to operate the scanner, which cost approximately $1.1 million and was generously funded by a Central Lakes Trust grant to the Lakes District Hospital Foundation.
Lakes District Hospital foundation chair Jayne Macdonald said the new service would provide the community with a sense of comfort and confidence that essential equipment was now available in the region. “To have ready and immediate access to diagnostic equipment of this quality in the Queenstown Lakes District means that potentially life-saving decisions can be made here without delay. Our growing permanent and visitor numbers will mean the CT scanner is well used.”